Bits: Lloyds credit card referral madness, possible 5000 free Avios, Amex FX promo

News in brief:

Lloyds hits a new low in credit card referral behaviour

If you have ever tried to refer a friend for the Lloyds Avios Rewards credit cards, you will know that it is only slightly more fun than having a tooth extracted without anaesthetic.

I recently heard from three readers who I had referred who had just received their referral links – six to seven months after I had requested them.  After the first one of these was reported I actually raised it with Avios who gave me a reader-specific explanation …. but then I heard about the 2nd one …. and the 3rd one …..

Even on the rare event that a referral link turns up, don’t count your chickens.

Another reader just got in touch to say that Lloyds has refused his 4,500 Avios referal bonus.  The reason?  Apparently, back in 2007, he had held a different Lloyds credit card for a short period although it is nearly a decade since he cancelled it.  On this basis he is apparently not a ‘new’ customer of Lloyds and therefore he does not qualify for the ‘refer a friend’ bonus!

It is clearly only a matter of time before anyone who has ever used a Lloyds ATM to withdraw cash is also told that they are also a Lloyds ‘customers’ and can’t have a bonus either ……

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Lloyds Avios Rewards 2

Potential chance of 5,000 free Avios from Royal Air Maroc

Let me state up front that I am very negative about the chances of this actually working out.  Readers keep emailing it to me, however, so I decided to publish it and you can make your own call as to whether you want to bother.

Royal Air Maroc, the national airline of Morocco, is currently offering 5,000 free Safar Flyer miles if you open a family account.

This sounds utterly irrelevant, I admit.  However …. Royal Air Maroc is about to switch its reward currency to Avios as I wrote here.

This leads to a potential chain of events which could go like this:

Royal Air Maroc joins Avios (very likely)

The conversion rate of Safar Flyer miles to Avios is 1:1  (no idea if likely or not)

Royal Air Marco becomes a ‘Combine My Avios’ partner (not hugely likely in my view given that Meridiana is not in ‘Combine My Avios’ and you cannot move Flybe credit card ‘Spend & Fly’ points either)

You move your 5,000 free Safar Flyer miles into 5,000 Avios

I would not be betting my own money on all of the above things coming to pass, but if you want to give it a go you will find details of how to open your Safar Flyer family account on their website.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)

Royal Air Maroc

American Express FX promotion

Finally, American Express sent certain British Airways Premium Plus cardholders a special offer yesterday.  It is not clear if the offer is targetted or not.

For all foreign spending done before 31st August, you will receive 3 bonus Avios for every £8 spent in foreign currency.

It is not clear from the wording if this is every £8 per transaction (which would be a con, as a £7.99 purchase would get no bonus) or on your cumulative foreign spending.

Assuming the latter, this still isn’t a great deal.  It would take your earning rate from 1.5 Avios points per £1 up to 1.875 Avios per £1.  Due to Amex’s 2.99% FX fee, you are paying 1.6p per Avios compared to using a 0% credit card.

Unless you are struggling to hit your £10,000 target to trigger your 2-4-1 voucher, you would be better off getting a ‘no FX fees’ credit card such as Lloyds Avios Rewards (review, £24 fee) or using a free Supercard (read more here) linked to any other reward MasterCard or Visa.

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My review of the InterContinental New York Barclay hotel
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  1. Peaceful Waters says:

    I got a 1 Avios per £4 foreign spend email offer for the BA Amex fee free card.

  2. I’ve had the misfortune to spend a lot of time on Royal Air Maroc flights over the last year. It’s usually a pretty shambolic and depressing experience. Finding a good use for the tens of thousands of Safar Flyer points would be a bonus, but I’m highly sceptical they’ll turn out to be convertible.

    • redeem via IB already – better wait to see if you can redeem via BA in future though

  3. Longshot says:

    I referred two friends for the Lloyds card in Feb, only just now got the referral bonus for one with the other one still pending. Reason: sign-up email address has to exactly match the referral email address. Although this was rectified, still required manual intervention to trigger the bonus

    • Genghis says:

      I think I’ve been very lucky then recently. Two Lloyds referrals went through within a few days and after application points posted soon thereafter.

  4. OK here’s my scenario (and remember, you can already use Safar miles to redeem flights on IB, so not impossible):

    – Safar miles get converted to Avios 1:1
    – New redemption partner is BAEC
    – You can use Miles + cash to redeem for flights on BA

    ie you’ve got a very cheap flight on BA to somewhere you actually want to go!

    BTW – that’s the 8th partner in the Avios scheme…5 additions in the last year or so…is BA going for world domination?…

    • Lady London says:

      No they’re going for Avios domination. This may not be where Avios is going, but frequent flyer schemes have been floated off to other ownership, I think that is where this is going. Once floated off, the offering has gotten worse for members as they will have been bought to make a profit out of.

      Not all of the airlines offering frequent flyer schemes denominated in Avios, are OneWorld, are they? I’m not quite sure.

  5. BA Premium card holder – did not get the email, but i would not use it for foreign spend anyway, N&P for me.

    Just earnt my first companion voucher :)

  6. no offer for me

  7. Is the Lloyds referral link on the website?

  8. It’s obvious Lloyds Credit Card department don’t care about their customers if they are being petty over some Avios points…

    • Oh, lloyds make that plenty obvious already. Just give them a call and the make it obvious enough

      • They gave my wife £100 because they had not replied to her letters about missing Avios points. I consider that excellent caring!

        • Conversely, they charge my wife interest every month, despite being in her interest free period. every month, my wife has to call up to sort it out. Every month, she wastes an evening doing this. I’m pleased you find them helpful- personally, we have found them to be hopelessly incompetent

          • the_real_a says:

            Make a complaint with them. You should be well compensated. If its not offered ask for compensation.

      • Lloyds have always been nothing but helpful on the phone and throw compensation at me like confetti if they ever make anything close to being a mistake…

  9. Barclaycard seem to have an offer for selected customers this month for bank transfers @ a rate of 0.9% for 12 months and balance transfers for 2 years.

    There is also a Virgin money card that gives you cash in the bank for 32 months @ 1.69%.

    I expect to see more offers at lower rates over the next few months.

  10. Colin Elliott says:

    Tried three times to get a Lloyd’s card via this Refer a friend link, with no email sent to friend by Lloyd’s. On contacting Avois, they said apply directly for the card on their website and Lloyd’s will pick up that it’s the same email address and pay the bonus! Hard to see that happening since they can’t even seem to just pick up that I’ve used their official Refer a friend procedure three times.

  11. Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

    I think Lloyds don’t have a leg to stand on declining that last referral: the T&Cs are quite clear:

    The ‘friend’ that you recommend can be anyone who is aged 18 years or over, a UK resident and not currently hold, have previously held or be in the process of applying for a Lloyds Bank Avios Rewards Credit Card Account.

    Doesn’t say anything about other Lloyds credit cards. If your reader has already complained, I’d take it up with the Financial Ombudsman Service. I can’t see how it’s anything other than an open and shut case.

    • I am still waiting for a single avios to post after getting the Lloyds Avios CC before xmas. Raised as a complaint but still not resolved although I did get some £ compensation

      • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

        You can take your case to FOS eight weeks after complaining. I’d recommend that route if it’s been that long and you haven’t had the Avios you are due.

        • The_Real_A says:

          Andrew – have you checked with Avios that they have not opened a totally new account number for you? This happened to me, they simply merged the accounts and I could access all missing Avios.

        • Genghis says:

          Potentially give Lloyds one more chance before complaining to FOS. Lloyds will be charged £550 but if you tell them that that is what you’re doing, they may be more likely to offer you some more compensation.

  12. Bluejosh says:

    Thanks for sharing that one – what’s the Amex deal? Can’t see it on my account.

  13. Genghis says:

    OT. Spent just over £10k on BAPP to trigger 241. 241 spent. Most avios have been transferred to BAEC. We’d like to cancel the card but we’re due a refund which would take us about £150 below the £10k spend in aggregate and into negative avios on BAPP. Does anyone have experience on what Amex might say in such circumstances?

    • Genghis, you are joking-aren’t you? :) .

      • Genghis says:

        I’m being serious Mr Gummage. Do you reckon I should divert some spend onto BAPP to contra the refund? I keep track of how much we spend from the counter and understand the £150 fee isn’t included in any spend targets.

        • Genghis says:

          “Crisis” averted, I think. Calcs done – we had spent a bit more than we think. Once the refunds come off we’ll still have spent just over £10k. We’ll still have a negative avios balance in BAPP though. I’ll report back.

          • jlrichards says:

            If you have a negative balance on your Amex, simply close down the card – they won’t request the Avios back. You can then open a new card later on.

            • I would read the guidance on here about cancelling the card before using the voucher before actually calling Amex.

              Out of interest, why cancel? It’s a great card for ongoing spend.

            • Genghis says:

              Thanks Nick. I’m aware of the guidance. I’m a bit of a card churner and another round of sign up bonus plus referrals will certainly add to the avios balance (and we’ll get a 6 month few refund). We have other cards for better ongoing spend when not chasing a target (BMI Diamond Club).

    • Are you sure you haven’t spent more than you think? The fee shouldn’t be included in the spend target progress.

  14. Hadn’t seen the Sainsbury’s deal. 36m & 40m interest free – crazy but great if you have run up debts/ cheap loan alternative/ schmoozer.

  15. I’ve never had a Lloyds referral email work! The key thing seems to be to make sure you use the same email address for making the referral as the person will use for replying, this seems to flag the email address as being a referral one and therefore increase the chances (although by no means guarantee!) of receiving the referral points.

  16. Re Safar Flyer, all I can say is good luck to anyone that’s happy to scan their families ID cards, passports, etc. and send them to anyone!

    It’s not something I’d personally ever do.

  17. Lloyds Avios from first statement have posted OK, but not the sign-up ones (yet).! Will keep an eye in case Avios setup a new account for that or something!

  18. Genghis says:

    What does having a balance sitting on a credit card do to one’s credit score?

    • The_Real_A says:

      It reduces it – as the Pot of potential loan is reduced by your outstanding amount across cards.

    • It’ll play a small factor in that there will be credit utilisation but as long as you are making the monthly repayments without a problem and aren’t pushing the limits on all you cards it shouldn’t cause too many issues. I’m not making any mortgage applications etc in the near future so I’m not too worried. Just got the Creation IHG card despite having that balance sitting there :)

      • the_real_a says:

        I disagree on “small factor”. It depends on the size of the balance Vs your overall potential credit amount. This was the single biggest factor with issues i had with my credit score. Despite clearing the balance every month, the amounts purchased each month were very large (expenses) and the credit agencies are updated on the statement generation date (so a large % of my potential credit was taken each month) – so best to clear the balance before the statement date if this is factor for you.

        • Perhaps should have just said factor rather than small factor, all depends on percentage utilisation of credit – in my case the balance transfer onto Halifax is only about 20% of total credit so not really having much impact.

  19. Is there anyway for me to claim Avios and Tier Points on the Etihad Business Sale that is out at the moment? I vaguely remember reading it was possible in th past

  20. As I see it, this is an Avios offer not Lloyds: it is advertised on the Avios site and you need to be an Avios member (having the card already is not necessary to refer someone). ISTR that the email confirming the reward points comes from Avios too.
    Therefore complaints should be addressed to Avios. Mine went through long ago (although I did fall into the email address trap), but I have found that a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority can yield a very fast response from medium sized companies.

    • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

      I disagree. Avios is acting as a credit broker for Lloyds, so Lloyds are accountable for their conduct. The FCA has made it clear that regulated firms cannot evade responsibility through the use of third parties.

      • Probably true.
        I meant that you are more likely to get some sense out of Avios (always the optimist).

  21. GORDON GRIMMER says:

    Folks, I am in the process of getting my Avios Household account deleted as Avios said i couldnt get the card if we had a household account.

  22. Completely OT post here, apologies.

    If I have a supplementary AMEX Gold card on my partner’s account am I eligible for the sign up bonus for opening a primary account of my own or does the supplementary card fall under the exclusion of “You will not be eligible for any Welcome Bonus award if you currently hold or have held any Membership Rewards enrolled American Express Card in the past six months.”


    • you can still get the sign up bonus, no problem

      get your partner to refer you for 9000 points & 2000 extra for you

      • Thanks. I had twigged the 2,000 referral already luckily (HfP did get the original referral)

        • you do understand that your partner refers you & gets 9000 Avios
          plus you get 22000 Avios instead of 20000?

  23. Flying BHX to JFK with Finnair in a month in economy class O and – was thinking how to maximise points, had a look at where to, i get 25% miles flown if avios/IB, 50% with finnair and 100 with AA’s programme. Not a member of the latter two programmes.

    Any thoughts or clever ideas of where to redeem….
    Also any tips on maximising time to NYC with any offers/passes you recommend would be helpful

    Staying at IC Times SQaure, courtesy of points collection via hfp….thank you!

    P.S not sure how many miles it is with AA but could use for a ME flight in the future if I can find other ways to collect, but dont travel much to the USA, more east.

  24. OT (FAO Harry)

    Please could somebody run through the procedure for stacking the Holiday Extra discounts?

    Also, is there any reason why Gatwick South shortstay won’t offer me a price for a weekend in October?


    • Sure
      1. register your Amex card for the promotion (available for both Amex Amex cards & non-Amex Amex cards such as MBNA Amex)
      2. find your deal on Holiday Extras via – proceed to payment page but do not pay yet
      3. either take pot luck & pay with your Amex card – some say this works just fine
      4. or open a new window, go to the defined Holiday Extras Amex page & copy & paste your payment details from earlier, exactly the same payment details should pop up.
      5. Pay & you’ll get an instant success email from Amex

      btw if you are going for DriveFly Meet & Greet parking, you get 15% off first of all, but if you go through to payment then leave it idle for an hour or so then press back button, try again same dates & you’ll get 31% discount

      • Defined HE Amex page is

        That’s what I do – 100% success on about 10 different statement credits so far

        • Brilliant, thanks a lot!

          • Thanks Harry – I’ve had the email confirmation… Weekend parking with meet & greet for less than the train ticket would cost

            • oh yeah I forgot to mention

              DriveFly (on HE) offer different prices for different LHR terminals. They even miss out T3 for some dates. You can’t change terminal on the HE online site, once booked (possibly by phone for a fee, though).

              But if you choose the cheapest option on your dates, at the wrong terminal, you can phone up DF & they’ll switch terminals for you free of charge.

  25. OT: anyone heading to Farnborough tomorrow?

  26. Radiata says:

    FWIW – regarding AMEX BA cards FX spend bonus Avios – I rang up Customer Services today as have been using the AMEX BAPP card over the last ten days or so abroad.

    I am told that (from 13 July) to 31 August, for both “classic and premium” BA AMEX card holders, the 3 bonus Avios per £8 spend applies. Perusal of my “view earned Avios” statement shows transactions to 13 July as yet so will wait a day or two and check again.